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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel to lock down 30 areas to fight Covid-19

Israel is entering a second lockdown [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 September, 2020

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Israel is going into a second lockdown as coronavirus cases begin to rise again.

Israel announced late Thursday a new lockdown affecting 30 areas as it grapples with one of the world's highest coronavirus infection rates and a death toll nearing 1,000.

From Monday next week, travel from 30 areas classified as "red" will be limited and non-essential business shut down, said Professor Ronni Gamzu, who is coordinating Israel's battle against Covid-19.

Authorities on Sunday unveiled a categorisation of districts, escalating from green, where coronavirus is deemed under control, through yellow, orange, and finally red for highest risk areas.

"We have decided to act immediately to stop the rising death rate," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video, describing the rise as "dramatic".

The Jewish state detected over 3,000 new infections on Wednesday alone, the highest number of confirmed infections in a single day.

Read also: Arab artists boycott UAE after Israel deal

The 30 areas in the red category will be announced by Sunday, according to authorities.

"We have taken the decision to lock down 'red' towns, from where infection is spreading," Netanyahu said.

Israel's quick decisions in March to curb travel and impose a lockdown brought the daily case-count to a trickle by early May.

But an economic re-opening since late April has led to an explosion in transmissions in the country.

Israel has detected 123,903 cases of Covid-19 and recorded 985 deaths, out of a population of nine million people.

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